Gods Mandate to Parents

Gods Mandate to Parents

Sun 18 Mar 2007 AM

Controversial "anti-smacking" legislation has recently been passed here in NZ. I just want to give some help and some biblical perspective to it, so I want to talk about this whole issue of the smacking issue, of whether to smack or not to smack but it's a lot deeper than that. What does God have to say about this matter?
Audio Transcript
So how many have been aware that there's a big issue going on at the moment, about changes to the law? About half the church. I wonder where the other half live? [Laughs] What I felt to do was, because this is an area which has got a lot of emotion in it, I just want to give some help, and some perspective to it. So I want to talk about this whole issue of the smacking issue, of whether to smack or not to smack; but it's a lot deeper than that. What I know will happen is, a lot of people get a lot of emotions, and they'll jump up and down, and they'll say all kinds of things, and then key issues will be lost in the middle of it.

So what I want to do is, I want to just look at what's about to happen, how it affects us, and then I want to just talk with you and get some Biblical perspective, because if we don't come from a Bible framework, basically the framework you come from in your thinking is: well, a couple of whacks didn't do me any harm, so won't do my kids any harm, see? Now most people, that's how they think, but this is not what the issue is really about: what did you harm; or didn't do you harm. From a Christian perspective, we need to understand what God says. If you don't know what God says, then you'll have your opinions; and the question is, whether you want to run your life out of opinions, or whether we want to run our life out of revelation, what God says.

What I tend to find is, Christians have a heap of opinions; so if their parents didn't smack, they say: you don't need that, you can be a great person without that. Our parents did smack - it never hurt me; and so there's all these kinds of opinions, but what is seldom brought to light is: what does God have to say about this matter. The Bible has a lot of things to say about it, and I found generally Christians tend to get very emotional, so some will jump up and down about the law change, and miss the point completely. So what I want to do is, to just get some perspective on it, and we'll look at some things. So let's first of all look at Romans Chapter 13, just get a little bit of overall perspective.

In Verse 1 through the first three or four verses, and it says: let every soul be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except of God, and the authorities that exist have been appointed, or are appointed by God. So whoever resists the authority, resists what God has ordered, and those who resist then will bring judgment upon themselves. For rulers or authorities are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what's good, and you will have praise from the same. Now look at this statement: For he is God's minister to you for good. That's a hard one to swallow, but it is true. He is God's minister to you, for good; but if you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.

For he is God's minister to you for good. If you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is God's minister. Notice how this 'minister', authorities are God's minister. Now that's mentioned about three times. So you think of a minister, you think immediately of someone up on a stage, a preacher or something. What's hard for us to understand, is that God has got many ministers. When you meet a policeman, he's God's minister. See that's a hard one to swallow, unless you understand how God has ordered things and set things up, and what he requires of us, see? So that's what we want - the bigger picture.

So one of the things is that God has a role for government. The government's role is basically stewardship and protection of the people in the nation. One of the major mandates of government, is that they should protect the nation, and one of the things that happens in a nation, is when the character of a nation decreases - character's connected to our ability to be responsible people. When our ability to be responsible decreases, we become irresponsible, our character declines, inevitably the government will bring in more rules and regulations. It's just a matter of how it works. For example, the ability to have freedom depends on you being responsible, so if you're irresponsible enough, eventually you lose your freedoms, and if you're really irresponsible then they put you in jail. Then you don't even have the freedom to turn your light on and off, eat when you want, come in and go out. Someone does it all for you. Irresponsibility leads to loss of freedom. Responsibility leads to increasing freedom. This is just a principle, and so when a nation goes into spiritual decline, and their personal character declines, and they just want to do what they want to do, inevitably the nation becomes more irresponsible, and then government brings in laws. So we should not be up in arms and jumping up and down about government invading the home. You have to see there's a bigger picture here, and I want to show you how to fit within the bigger picture, and to have a good perspective on it all, otherwise you'll be jumping up and down, and at times may even look a bit silly about it.

Sermon Notes
Keywords: Anti-smacking legislation, Sue Bradford, children, discipline, dissent, rod, smack, strap, violence, child abuse, bill, law, referendum, domestic